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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dramatic Writing Workshop: Day 1

I wasn't thinking about this workshop I was about to set foot into. I mean, I was and I wasn't. Walking around the theater where the workshop was taking place I felt uneasy, weird. My discomfort probably came from the thought that I'm a fraud and for all I know everyone involved is not only going to see this but they were going to feed my insecurity as if it was a little monkey. Feed my little monkey brain.

Once we all sat down, all participants, maybe 25 or so, started chatting each other up. They've been here before, it was old hat to them. No one knew me, Monkey Brains. I started thinking, "I'm in over my head, this was a terrible idea, I'm not ready for this. Fucking loser, go crawl back into your cave, douchbag." It didn't really come to this but it did come to my eyelid twitching. Something that happens when I've reached stress levels of DefCon 3 or greater. Then something happened. The very congenial and down-to-earth Mick Casale started talking about concepts of story. Lining up and developing ideas. Acts of Composition. This I could wrap my mind around. Maybe I wasn't the under-developed primate I thought I was. Maybe I just needed a little stimulus. So for a couple of hours he talked about the elements of of a dramatic screenplay. Idea, story, plot, character, visuals, dialogue and one more, concept. I will go into these elements as the workshop continues but the thing I was most thankful for is for a couple of hours all I thought about was story. My story, it seemed possible. Next week's assignment: What is your idea? What is your concept? Something to sleep on.

Cornelius ain't got nothin' on me!


Anonymous David Anaxagoras said...

Ahh...brings back memories of my first workshop. I hope this one will be as positive and productive an experience for you as mine have been. Just remember: show up to every session, even if you have written no pages or bungled the assignment or whatever. Let those people be there for you, and you be there for them.

1:28 AM  
Blogger William said...

I think it will be a good for me as a writer to push my work out there and get some feedback. Like you know, if you fall or get stuck it can be easier to work through it when you have a group to support you. I took a workshop years ago and it was good for getting me focused on physically writing but I never really felt like I was learning anything. This time around, the first class I felt immersed in theories of story. Everyone looks committed to making their writing better which pushes you to do the same.

9:52 AM  

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